Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keeping Track of Our Sponsored Children

I am participating in Works For Me Wednesday from the We Are THAT Family blog again today. 

Reviving a post from last year, I will share how we keep track of letters that we send to and receive from our Compassion International children.

With ten Compassion International children in nine different countries, I’ve developed a way to keep track of their information, letters we’ve sent and letters we’ve received.

For letters we send, I have a Word document that I update every time I mail something out.  There is a page for each of our children that has a header that contains: Child’s Name, Child’s Number, Country, and birthdate. Each time I write a letter, I type in:the date, a sentence or two that details what topics I wrote about or Bible verse I covered, details about the items I have included. A typical entry would look like this:

6/1/10   letter about hiking & Spring sights, Romans 8:1, soccer stickers, Noah coloring sheet

My goal is to write to each child twice a month, though there have been a couple of months where I only got one round of letters out. (Why do I put so much time and effort into letters to our sponsored child?  Read: Yes, Letters Really Are That Important!) I keep track of every letter we send for a few reasons.  One, it helps me keep tabs on what I’ve talked about and items I’ve sent.  Two, it helps me to get a feel for about how long a letter takes to travel from here to the child. When I get a reply that refers to a specific item, I can check the date it was written and get a round about idea of travel time.

For letters we receive, we have two binders.  One binder is specifically for letters from Precious in Ghana, because we hear from her about twice a month and we have a stack of letters from her that is almost an inch thick!  Binders are divided into sections for each child. The first page in each section is a piece of paper where I keep track of info such as: Name, birthdate, specific location within their country, average monthly income, family member’s names and ages, favorites (colors, foods, whatever they’ve shared), type of home, prayer requests, financial gifts we’ve sent and what was bought, etc.

When we get a letter from one of our children, I write the date received on the top right hand side and punch holes in it. I keep it next to the computer until I’ve emailed a reply to any questions the child asked. Then, I put the letter into the binder in the right section. 

I am not an organized person by nature, so I really have to make an effort to do things like this, but it helps me so much! Do you have a method for keeping track of your sponsored children?  I would love to hear about it!